Parodist singer-songwriter, Alfred ‘Weird Al‘ Yankovic turns 54 today (October 23rd)!
On one fateful day before his sixth birthday, a door-to-door salesman offered to teach little Alfred accordion lessons, sparking his interest in music. Influenced by comedic radio personality Dr. Demento, and first exposed on his syndicated show, Weird Al’s career launched with “My Bologna” a parody of The Knack’s “My Sharona” in 1979. Lead singer of The Knack Doug Fieger suggested it to Capitol Records and thus began the road to the parodies we all love today.
He has three Grammy Awards, sold over 12 million albums, and performed well over a 1,000 shows in his 30-year musical history.
Artists ranging from Lady Gaga to The Presidents of the United States of America considered it “a rite of passage” for their musical careers when Weird Al records a parody of their song. Dave Grohl knew that Nirvana “made it” as a band after Yankovic made a grunge parody of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Rapper Chamillionaire even credited Weird Al’s “White & Nerdy” parody of his song “Ridin” as the reason he won his Grammy in 2007. In his third decade in music, Straight Outta Lynwood with the single “White & Nerdy” was Wierd Al’s first top ten Billboard album.